It’s been a week of mixed fortunes for both the men’s and women’s teams and for individual players, with the blue boys returning to winning ways, but our girls suffered defeat for the first time this season. In addition, Raheem Sterling had a mixed night in Bulgaria, once again suffering racist abuse but answering those idiots by scoring two for England, and it’s Bulgaria where we start our review.
England Silence Racists In Style
There were warning it could happen before the game, and England’s players were prepared to walk off the pitch should it happen in Sofia. And happen it did, and as usual Raheem Sterling was one of the targets.
The City winger, along with Tyrone Mings, was booed and heckled in the first half. A camera shot of the main group showed them hurling abuse and displaying Nazi salutes, which wasn’t acceptable 7o years ago and still isn’t today.
After two stoppages, it seemed the main group left the stadium, but some will still have seen the target of the abuse score England’s fourth goal as Sterling tapped home from Harry Kane’s cross. And it was Sterling on target again to make it 5-0 as the boo boys were eventually silenced.
It was a brilliant performance that kept the racists firmly in their place, but it was a despicable and deplorable situation that none of our players should ever have to suffer. But while racism is still alive, players like Raheem will continue the fight and continue to let their feet, football and goals do the talking.
Blues Girls Have It All To Do In Spain
City Women’s hopes of making the quarter final of the Champions League hang in the balance after a late goal denied them taking a precious lead to Madrid.
The blues were in control of the match and lead through Janine Beckie’s goal on 13 minutes. It seemed like that would be enough until Charlyn Corral levelled late on. Atletico beat the blues last season at the last 32 stage, however City did get a 1-1 draw in Spain, and Nick Cushing’s side will be hoping to go one better this time.
The Champions League seems to be an issue for City in general, with the girls reaching the semi final twice and the boys once, so what is it about the Champions League? One day, one of our teams will get to the final, hopefully both, but the girls are strong enough to make it past Atletico. It will be tough in Spain and with former striker Toni Duggan leading the line, the task is made harder. I might be biased, but I think City will pull it off.
Silva Given Extension
The race row over Bernardo Silva’s tweet to Benjamin Mendy is still not resolved, and the midfielder was given a two-week extension to answer to his FA charge.
Silva compared Mendy to the character on a packet of Conguitos, a sweet brand available in Spain and Portugal, which the FA alleged him to have committed an “aggravated breach” of FA rules.
The FA charged Silva with misconduct on 2 October because his tweet included reference “expressed or implied, to race and/or colour and/or ethnic origin”.
It remains to be seen what will happen to Silva, with possible outcomes ranging from a fine to match suspension.
Men Return To Winning Ways
Following defeat at home to Wolves, a trip to Crystal Palace, who had made their best start yet to a Premier League season, was potentially a tricky match for the blues, but they came through it with no major concerns.
With City needing the three points, manager Pep Guardiola decided he’d had enough of playing a centre back, so decided to use two midfielders in the centre of defence, as well as dropping Sergio Aguero to the bench and welcoming back Kevin de Bruyne from injury. It was another master stroke by the Catalan as the blues enjoyed a comfortable afternoon and took the points home.
A brilliant header by Gabriel Jesus, which was straight out of the diving header handbook, gave the blues the lead after dominating the match, and that was quickly followed by a well worked second by David Silva, who latched onto Sterling’s lofted pass.
So City back to winning ways, which is just as well as United held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw and were within minutes of beating the league leaders and putting City a point closer to their rivals. It felt so, so wrong celebrating a United goal, but it was pleasing to see Liverpool held, but what was also entertaining was the fact that the visitors had two VAR decisions go against them.
Welcome to our world!
Blues Girls Lose For The First Time
It had to happen at some stage and it just had to be to United.
City’s women were unbeaten in the league, Champions League and Intercontinental Cup this season, but that ended Leigh Sports Village today as United won 2-0. To cap a miserable afternoon, Keira Walsh saw red for a late lunge on Kirsty Hanson.
It was a touch of revenge for United, who lost to City on the opening day, and the blues must now travel to Arsenal next weekend, looking to bounce back against the current WSL champions.
Arsenal have been in excellent form themselves this season, but lost last weekend to Chelsea after leading 1-0. Jordan Nobbs has returned to the Arsenal side after injury, and with a strike force that includes Dutch star Danielle van de Donk and England winger Beth Mead, Sunday’s game will be the biggest test of City’s title credentials to date.
Our boys face Atalanta at home in the Champions League on Tuesday, before welcoming Premier League new boys Aston Villa to the Etihad on Saturday in the early kick off.
On Sunday, our girls travel to Arsenal in the WSL, before travelling to Spain four days later to face Atletico Madrid Women.